Supply Chain

Potato Prices Increase As Supply Tightens

By Sarah O'Sullivan
Potato Prices Increase As Supply Tightens

Consumers facing high potato prices will see the cost continue to rise, as shortages persist, RTÉ reported this week.

Unseasonably persistent wet weather has impacted potato farmers’ ability to plant the crop or harvest already-grown potatoes.

This, paired with difficult harvesting conditions facing last year’s crops – also due to bad weather – have caused the price of potatoes in supermarkets to rise by 17.3%, compared to a year ago.

The price is expected to continue rising, as delays in planting will lead to a late harvest.

In its most recent report, published on 15 May, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) stated that drier conditions have allowed 50% of planting to be done.

ADVERTISEMENT

It added, however, that stocks will remain tight until the end of the year.

Continuing Scarcity

Figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) indicate that, amid the shortages, farmers were paid 74% more for potatoes in March 2024 than a year previously.

The National Potato Chairman of the IFA, Sean Ryan, said that the increased prices reflect the low base of prices last year.

It also indicated the continuing scarcity of potatoes, he added.

Ryan said, “Scarcity of supply is reflected in the prices quoted […] which have come off the back of unsustainable prices for the last ten years.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Current prices need to be sustained for a viable potato industry.”

Ryan added that input costs for potatoes currently on sale were at an all-time high at the time of planting.

He said that while potatoes are being offered for high prices, very few growers currently have supplies for sale.

“Most growers are not benefitting from the price increases, as a large amount of potatoes were sold straight from fields at harvest time, when prices were lower,” he said.

Prices

According to the CSO, overall output prices for farmers went down by 3.5% in the 12 months to March of this year.

ADVERTISEMENT

Cereal prices went down by 31%, milk by 5%, and pigs by 7.5%.

The prices for vegetables, potatoes and sheep rose.

The CSO also indicated that there has been a steep drop in the cost of inputs in the agricultural sector.

Overall prices incurred by farmers in order to produce their goods fell by 15.3% in the year to March.

Electricity prices for the period went down by 22%.

ADVERTISEMENT

The prices of fertiliser and animal feed also fell – by 40% and 17%, respectively.

Read More: First Potato Earlies Should Be In Shops By Mid-June

Stay Connected With Our Weekly Newsletter

Processing your request...

Thanks! please check your email to confirm your subscription.